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Wed, Apr 14, 2010

First PiperSport Now In Customer's Hands

Piper Aircraft President and CEO Kevin J. Gould handed over the keys to the very first PiperSport, light-sport aircraft to three veteran pilots Tuesday.

(L-R) Dr. Mike Morduant, Brian Garhammer, Charlie Carlon, Kevin Gould

"The PiperSport is an amazing entry-level aircraft that will bring new customers to Piper," Gould said. "It fits perfectly into our overall mission of delivering the very best airplanes. It will lead the way for customers to step up into more sophisticated and higher performance aircraft within our line over time."

The three co-owners -- all from Miami, Fla. -- are Charlie Carlon (ATP/CFI/CFII), 62, a 20,000+ hour, former Delta Airlines Pilot who works for Airbus North America teaching pilots how to fly the Airbus via simulation; Brian Garhammer (ATP/CFI/CFII), 52, a 16,000+ hour, former ATA pilot, who also works for Airbus North America teaching pilots how to fly the Airbus via simulation; and Dr. Mike Morduant, 62, a veterinarian and a pilot for 42 years.

Piper Sport Ready For Delivery

"The PiperSport is sexy!" said Garhammer, who joined with his two friends to accept the keys to Piper's new LSA. "You can go out and buy a BMW or a PiperSport for about the same money. But who wants a sports car when you can fly the PiperSport?"

Morduant echoed Garhammer: "I liked it from the get-go - its all-metal, conventional construction, its useful load, its range and the fact that when my son and I sat in it, we weren't crushing elbows. When I flew it, I really loved it. I was so happy to see that Piper agreed with me (on what was needed in the LSA segment)."

The PiperSport, manufactured by Czech Sport Aircraft (CSA) and distributed through master distributor PiperSport Distribution, Inc., features a rate of climb of 1,200 feet per minute and is capable of reaching a maximum cruise speed of 138 miles per hour and an altitude of 10,000 feet. The aircraft has a gross weight of 1,320 pounds and 600 pounds of useful load. With the ability to run on automotive fuel, the PiperSport's 30-gallon fuel capacity gives the aircraft a range of 600 nautical miles and the ability to refuel virtually anywhere in the world that offers either 100LL or premium, unleaded automotive fuel.

There are three variants of the aircraft: The PiperSport, which sells for $119,900; the PiperSport LT (primarily a training model), which sells for $129,900; and the PiperSport LTD (professional model), which sells for $139,900. Each model features the latest in luxury - from leather seats to cutting-edge design - and is equipped with a 100-hp Rotax 912 engine and a BRS complete aircraft parachute recovery system. Each model also features the same gross weight, speed, fuel capacity, and range.

Charlie Carlon, the third partner with Garhammer and Morduant, flew the PiperSport after its debut at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo at Sebring, FL earlier this year. "Both Brian and I are retired airline pilots and this aircraft gives us the chance to enjoy aviation in a different light than we've had over the last 25 years," Carlon says. "I've had a passion for aviation since I was a boy, and this airplane speaks to that passion. It's fun to fly!"




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